by Curlan Campbell, NOW Grenada
- Miss St Mark wins Carnival Queen plus 4 other titles
- Miss St Andrew awarded Miss Congeniality
- Miss St John awarded Most Photogenic and Best Swimsuit
- Miss St David awarded Best Interview
Fan-favorite Miss St Mark, 21-year-old Odessa Merryman was crowned Miss Grenada Carnival Queen 2019. She was crowned by 2018 Carnival Queen, Miss St George, Kemik De Gale on Thursday, 8 August at Spice Basket.
Merryman also copped 4 titles out of 8 categories: Most Community-Spirited, Best Talent, Best in Costume and Best in Evening Wear. Her portrayal in fancy mas of the Goddess of Sunset, and in elegant evening wear, was stunning.
Merryman and six other inspiring and stylish women vied for the title and fantastic prizes including cash, roundtrip airline tickets, cosmetics, gym membership and a gift basket.
During her talent performance, Merryman pulled all the stops, impressing the judges with her talent — playing multiple drums — from the traditional African Djembe drum to the marching band drum, to the acoustic drum set and steelpan, while reciting poetry. “I started playing [the] drums at the St Mark RC School and that was within the years of 2010 to 2015 and at a point in time I was a drum corps leader. The information and talent that I have, I just keep passing it down and with that, of course, it has paid off because you were able to see that in my talent,” she said.
“I believe my victory here is well deserved, well earned. Like the other girls I have been putting in countless sleepless nights and because of that, my hard work has paid off and it is about time… that St Mark goes home with a crown,” she said.
Miss St Andrew, Kishona Alexander was awarded Miss Congeniality. Miss St John, Jessica Fereira was awarded Most Photogenic and Best Swimsuit, while Miss St David, Lindy Fortune received the award for Best Interview.
Merryman is very active within her community and has started a community programme called “Building Lives Around Special Talent” (BLAST), to foster and nurture young talent. “The programme would have continued win or lose to help young [people] maximise on their talent; and then we are going to help you capitalise on it. With that initiative [it]would also help reduce the amount of unemployment we have in society so… Miss Grenada Carnival Queen 2019 is on the road to help not just my parish, but the country,” she said.
First runner-up Miss St David, stated that it had been an awesome journey to the big stage despite encountering many challenges. “For me, it has been an awesome journey regardless of all the challenges I faced throughout it and I must say that I enjoyed the friendship that we have built, me and the other 6 girls. However, the night brought a lot of challenges, but I was still able to push through and I am telling you although I came second that means nothing. I am still proud of what I did.”
Second runner-up Miss St John echoed similar sentiments. “This is one of the most amazing journeys I ever embarked upon in my entire life. There were obstacles left, right and centre, but I appreciate the fact that I would have learned so much as an individual when it comes to myself and other people. I have contended with seven of the most amazing girls on the island and I found different things in them that I would like to emulate myself.”
Other contestants in this year’s competition were Miss Carriacou & PM, Chrisann Isaac; Miss St Patrick, Reanna Scott and Miss St George, Karilyn Kirton.